Kevin Durant had 36 points and Serge Ibaka added a career-high 26 as the Oklahoma City Thunder evened the National Basketball Association’s Western Conference finals with a 109-103 defeat of the San Antonio Spurs.
Durant scored 16 straight points for the host Thunder down the stretch as Oklahoma City tied the best-of-seven series 2-2 with the win at Chesapeake Energy (CHK:US) Center.
The home team has won each of the four games so far in the series. Game 5 is set for tomorrow night in San Antonio.
“We’re just one step closer,” Durant said in a televised interview. “We’ve got to keep going.”
The winner of the series will face either the Miami Heat or the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals. The Heat lead the Celtics 2-1 in the Eastern Conference finals, with Game 4 set for today in Boston.
The Spurs, who trailed by 15 points midway in the third period, were within 86-82 with 6 1/2 minutes left in the fourth quarter when Durant went on his run -- personally outscoring the Spurs 16-11 over the next five minutes.
“When a player that talented gets hot, it’s really hard to contain,” San Antonio’s Manu Ginobili told reporters. “We tried different things and they didn’t work.”
Ibaka went 11-for-11 from the field and made all four of his free throws.
“He didn’t miss a shot? Wow,” Durant said. “We rode him tonight, he had a phenomenal game.”
Tim Duncan had 21 points to lead San Antonio.
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